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Monday, January 2, 2017

Will North Korea Get Their Missile To Fly Or Is It A Kim Jong Un Dream?

Kim Says North Korea

 Close to Testing 



  • Kim Jong Un touts military achievements in New Year speech
  • North Korea conducted two nuclear tests last year alone
People watch a television news broadcast at a railway station in Seoul on January 1, 2017 showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's New Year's speech.
Photographer: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images
Kim Jong Un said North Korea is in the “last stage” of preparations to test-
fire an inter-continental ballistic missile, adding to claims his isolated 
has the technology to threaten the U.S. as Donald Trump prepares to take 
Kim hinted at progress in developing the missile while outlining his regime’s 
military achievements over the last year, according to a transcript of his New 
Year address released Sunday by the official Korean Central News Agency. 
Still, Pyongyang isn’t showing any particular signs of an imminent launch, 
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Monday in a briefing posted on the 
government website.

North Korea “will continue to strengthen its 
based on nuclear might to mount a preemptive
 attack,” Kim said during a half-hour speech that
 touched on issues including economic policy and 
ties with South Korea. Pyongyang has conducted 
ned U.S. demands to freeze its arms development in order for international
 disarmament talks to resume.
President-elect Trump, who takes office Jan. 20, likened Kim to a “maniac” 
his campaign while suggesting he could meet him for nuclear talks. While 
Kim made no mention of Trump in his speech, his comments may spur
 speculation that North Korea will test a long-range missile around the
 inauguration date, seeking to raise the stakes ahead of any talks with the
 Trump administration.

Leverage Bid

“North Korea is showing its leverage ahead of future negotiations,” said Kim
 Tae-woo, who teaches military issues at South Korea’s Konyang University.
 “North Korea’s hope to be recognized as a nuclear power through some sort 
of big deal with the U.S. hasn’t lessened, and we may even be seeing Kim 
deploying ICBMs this year.”
The regime said previously it had the ability to mount nuclear warheads on 
missiles that could reach the U.S., an assertion that was bolstered by its 
launch of a long-range rocket in February and another in August. South 
Korean officials have said North Korea may have made “significant” 
progress in developing missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.
Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea analyst at the Sejong Institute near 
Seoul, said the regime may test a missile before Kim’s Jan. 8 birthday or
 Trump’s inauguration. And in an assessment of Kim’s speech, South
 Korea’s Unification Ministry said North Korea could conduct a test 
depending on “upcoming political circumstances.”
In his remarks, Kim said he would “gladly join hands” with anyone who
 seeks better relations between the two Koreas. South Korea may hold a 
presidential election earlier than the current schedule of December after
Park Geun-hye was impeached last month over an influence-peddling 
Park has called for sanctions to pressure North Korea to end its nuclear
 ambitions. She is suspended from power while the Constitutional Court
 considers whether the parliamentary motion to impeach her was 
constitutional. If it agrees, a special election will follow in 60 days.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and South Korean 
opposition heavyweight Moon Jae-in are neck-and-neck in presidential 
polls. Both served as senior officials under former president Roh Moo-hyun,
 who advocated greater exchanges with North Korea. Ban has yet to 
formally declare any plans to run while Moon said he’d welcome a chance to
 compete for the presidency.
North Korea is banned under UN Security Council resolutions from 
developing ballistic missiles and testing nuclear devices. The council in
 late November unanimously passed sanctions that include cutting North 
Korea’s coal exports, one of the few sources of hard currency for Kim’s
regime, after the country conducted its fifth test in September.